Guatemala Says It Will Move Its Embassy From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Guatemala was one of a handful of nations to vote with Israel and the U.S. at the UN last week

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Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales with Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuCredit: GPO

The president of Guatemala says the Central American country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, becoming the first nation to follow the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump in ordering the change.

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Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted earlier this week with the United States when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

>> Trump, take note: How Jerusalem went from hosting 16 embassies to zero <<

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on his official Facebook account Sunday that after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he decided to instruct his foreign ministry to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Guatemala and Israel have long had close ties, especially in security matters and Israeli arms sales to Guatemala. No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move.

Trump upended decades of U.S. policy with his announcement that he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Though Trump said he was merely recognizing reality and not prejudging negotiations on the future borders of the city, Palestinians saw the move as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The resolution passed at the UN declared the U.S. action on Jerusalem "null and void." The 128-9 vote was a victory for Palestinians, but fell short of the total they had predicted. Thirty-five nations abstained and 21 stayed away from the vote.

Voting against the resolution, alongside Israel and the United States, were Guatemala, which joined Honduras, Marshal Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.

Despite the change in Jerusalem's status, Trump delayed relocating the American embassy from Tel Aviv.

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